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Title:
SYSTEM OF TERMINATION OF HIGH POWER TRANSFORMERS FOR REDUCED AC TERMINATION LOSS AT HIGH FREQUENCY
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/217121
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A planar transformer includes a magnetic core (22) having an internal opening. A plurality of high current capacity windings (34) are disposed within the internal opening. These high current capacity windings (34) have a length, a width and a thickness. Each winding is formed as an open loop having adjacent first and second end portions. There is at least one primary winding and one secondary winding. The primary winding and/or secondary winding may be high current capacity windings. A first terminal lead (30) is electrically interconnected to multiple adjacent first end portions and a second terminal lead is electrically interconnected to multiple second end portions. Both the first terminal lead (30) and said second terminal lead have a length, a width and a thickness measured with the thickness being less than either the terminal lead length or the terminal lead width.

Inventors:
WAMBSGANSS, Warren, J. (9006 381st Ave. SE, Snoqualmie, WA, 98065, US)
Application Number:
US2019/029704
Publication Date:
November 14, 2019
Filing Date:
April 29, 2019
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
ASTRONICS ADVANCED ELECTRONIC SYSTEMS CORP. (12950 Willows Road NE, Kirkland, WA, 98034, US)
International Classes:
H01F27/29; H01F17/04; H01F17/06; H01F27/02; H01F27/24; H01F27/28
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ROSENBLATT, Gregory, S. (Wiggin and Dana LLP, One Century Tower 265 Church Stree, New Haven CT, 06501, US)
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Claims:
CLAIMS

aim:

1. A planar transformer characterized by:

a magnetic core 32 having an internal opening;

a plurality of high current capacity windings 18 disposed within the internal opening and having a length measured along an“X” axis, a width measured along a“Y” axis and a thickness measured along a“Z” axis wherein each winding is an open loop having adjacent first and second end portions;

at least one primary winding and one secondary winding, one or both of which are high current capacity windings 34; and

a first terminal lead 30 electrically interconnected to the plurality of adjacent first end portions and a second terminal lead electrically interconnected to the plurality of second end portions wherein both said first teiminal lead and said second terminal lead have a length measured along the“X” axis, a width measured along the“Z” axis and a thickness measured along the“Y” axis and the terminal lead thickness is less than either the terminal lead length or the terminal lead width.

2. The planar transformer of claim 1 characterized in that each first end portion of said high current capacity windings 34 has a notch 36 dimensioned to receive an edge of said first terminal lead 30.

3. The planar transformer of claim 2 characterized in that each said first end portion of said high current capacity windings 34 is aligned to form a slot for receiving the edge of the first terminal lead.

4. The planar transformer of claim 3 characterized in that the slot includes a retention

feature 38.

5. The planar transformer of claim 3 characterized in that first and second opposing faces of said housing are open and said first and second end portions of said high current capacity windings 34 are adjacent one of said open faces of said magnetic core 22.

6. The planar transformer of claim 5 characterized in that said first and second end portions of said high current capacity windings 34 extend beyond one of said open faces of said magnetic core 22.

7. The planar transformer of claim 1 characterized in that each first terminal lead 30 has an edge with a notch 36 dimensioned to receive an end portion of one of said high current capacity windings.

8. The planar transformer of claim 1 characterized in that the high current capacity windings 34 are a sheet of metal.

9. The planar transformer of claim 8 characterized in that the high current capacity windings 34, which are the secondary and / or primary windings and the first terminal lead 30 are formed from copper or a copper-base alloy.

10. The planar transformer of claim 9 characterized in that the thickness of the first terminal lead 30 is greater than the thickness of the high current capacity windings 34.

11. The planar transformer of claim 10 characterized in that the thickness of the first terminal lead 30 is from 2 to 100 times the maximum thickness of the high current capacity windings 34.

12. The planar transformer of claim 1 characterized in that the high current capacity windings 34 are a copper layer supported by a dielectric substrate.

13. The planar transformer of claim 12 characterized in that the high current capacity windings 34 are copper layers supported by dielectric substrates assembled into a printed circuit board.

14. The planar transformer of claim 13 characterized in that a slotted retention feature 38 provides enhance retention of the first terminal lead 30.

Description:
System of Termination of High Power Transformers for Reduced AC Termination

Loss at High Frequency

[0001] Linkage between cockpit controls and moving parts on an aircraft, such as the rudder or landing gear, was previously by hydraulic or mechanical interconnection. There is a desire to make the aircraft lighter weight leading to higher efficiency and better fuel economy. One approach toward achieving these goals is to make the aircraft linkages electric, rather than hydraulic or mechanical. Electrification of the linkages requires highly efficient, light weight power conversion, including AC/DC power conversion and DC/DC power conversion.

[0002] Switch frequencies in switch mode power converters continue to increase as semiconductor technology improves. A high switch frequency enables power converters to be reduced in size, weight and cost, but typically comes at the penalty of loss of efficiency.

Improved semiconductor devices and control technologies, which allow switching frequencies to be increased without loss of efficiency, are now widely utilized. However, the power transformer is often times still the limiting factor in how small and efficient a power converter can become, even with an increased switch frequency. AC losses in the windings and termination losses dominate the power dissipation in a transformer and its interfaces with high switching frequencies, particularly when high AC currents are present. Termination losses are caused by current concentrations at the transformer interfaces due to the proximity effect in terminals, bus bars, or circuit board traces. When high currents are present, termination losses can even exceed the power dissipation of the transformer.

[0003] Planar transformers are commonly used with high switch frequencies because of their improved high frequency performance over traditional, round wire transformer

construction. Planar transformer windings are constructed with flat conductors, typically with traces on printed wiring boards, or from sheet metal that has been stamped or etched into the shape of a winding. US 5,559,487,“Winding Construction for Use in Planar Magnetic Devices,” by Butcher et ak, discloses a planar transformer constructed from a series of metal stampings to form windings which are separated by thin insulators. Alternatively, as disclosed in US 6,073,339,“Method of Making Low Profile Pin-Less Planar Magnetic Devices,” by Levin, the conductive windings may be formed as conductive, typically copper, circuit traces on one or multiple dielectric substrates.

[0004] These flat conductors are less influenced than round wire transformers by skin and proximity effects because the thickness of the windings is often times less than the skin depth of the operating frequency. However, planar transformers are difficult to connect to external transistors and rectifiers in a way that does not cause significant dissipation due to termination loss. While the flat windings in a planar transformer are an ideal geometry that can be optimized for low loss, the terminals that provide external connection are often times less than ideal. Applicant’s disclosure below improves on existing terminal arrangements and reduces planar transformer termination loss.

[0005] US 7,460,002,“Terminal System for Planar Magnetics Assembly,” by Estrov discloses that when interconnecting high current planar transformer windings, the AC impedance must be evenly balanced between all parallel windings. If the AC impedance is not balanced, significant current asymmetry or circulating currents occur between parallel connected windings, which results in increased levels of dissipation and loss of power conversion efficiency. While an improvement over the prior art, the approach put forward by Estrov neglects significant current crowding and increased AC resistance associated with the proximity effect in the terminals. As illustrated in Figure 3 of this disclosure, the proximity effects cause current to crowd near the edges of a conductor when AC current is flowing in opposite directions.

[0006] The regions of high current density near the edges of the parallel terminals and the interconnecting bus bars are regions of significantly elevated power loss. Since the terminal arrangement disclosed in US 7,460,002 orients the planar transformer terminals and

interconnecting busbars edge-to-edge, only a very small percentage of the material cross section is utilized for current flow. For low switching frequencies, this effect is less pronounced.

However, for high switching frequencies and high power levels, the associated losses can grow to be more than the internal transformer winding losses. [0007] There remains a need for a planar transformer having terminations and interconnects that improve the performance, manufacturability and size/weight of the planar transformer as compared to those presently utilized. Because of this, new, high frequency transformer construction and termination techniques must be developed for efficient high frequency operation.

[0008] A planar transformer includes a magnetic core having an internal opening. A plurality of high current capacity windings are disposed within the internal opening. These high current capacity windings have a length, a width and a thickness. Each winding is formed as an open loop having adjacent first and second end portions. There is at least one primary winding and one secondary winding. The primary winding and/or the secondary winding may be high current capacity windings. A first terminal lead is electrically interconnected to multiple adjacent first end portions and a second terminal lead is electrically interconnected to multiple second end portions. Both the first terminal lead and said second terminal lead have a length, a width and a thickness measured with the thickness being less than either the terminal lead length or the terminal lead width.

[0009] Figure 1 illustrates in 3D perspective terminal leads for a planar transformer as known from the prior art.

[0010] Figure 2 illustrates in 3D perspective the terminal leads of Figure 1 electrically interconnected to windings of the planar transformer as known from the prior art.

[0011] Figure 3 illustrates the proximity effects causing current to crowd near the edges of a conductor when AC current is flowing in opposite directions. [0012] Figure 4 illustrates in 3D perspective terminal leads in accordance with a first embodiment disclosed herein.

[0013] Figure 5 illustrates in 3D perspective the terminal leads of Figure 4 with addition of a retention feature.

[0014] Figure 6 illustrates in 3D perspective the terminal leads of Figure 4 with an addition of bus bars.

[0015] Figure 7 illustrates in another 3D perspective the terminal leads of Figure 4 with an addition of bus bars.

[0016] Figure 8 illustrates terminal and bus bar current density for a terminal lead known from the prior art.

[0017] Figure 9 illustrates terminal and bus bar current density for the terminal lead illustrated in Figure 4.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0018] Figure 1 illustrates in 3D perspective terminal leads 10 for a planar transformer as known from the prior art. The terminal leads 10 are generally T-shaped with a first leg 12 and a second leg 14 off-set by 90°. Referencing Figure 2, the first leg 12 is inserted into apertures 16 formed in the windings 18. The windings extend into an internal opening formed within a magnetic core 22. The magnetic core 22 is formed from a magnet material such as a ferrite optimized for power conversion and typically includes a central leg 25 extending through a centrally disposed aperture in the windings 18. Typically, this leg has a cylindrical or rectangular cross-section. Bus bars 24 electrically interconnect the terminal leads with a bolted connection.

[0019] Referring back to Figure 1, the second leg 14 has a generally rectangular cross- section with relatively small surface area faces 26 adjacent one another. The regions of high current density near the edges of the parallel terminals and the interconnecting bus bars are regions of significantly elevated power loss. This proximity effect is illustrated in Figure 3. The proximity effect causes current to crowd near the edges of a conductor when AC current is flowing in opposite directions. The proximity effect is most pronounced at high switching frequencies, nominally when the switching frequency exceeds 40 kHz and at high power levels, nominally, a power level in excess of 500 Watts. Referencing Figure 3, with a current level of 100 Amps and a switch frequency of 100 kHz, approximately 70 percent of the current flow is concentrated along the edge 27 of the second leg 14.

[0020] Figure 4 illustrates in 3D perspective terminal leads in accordance with a first embodiment of the disclosure. The terminal leads 30 are formed from an electrically conductive material, such as copper or a copper-base alloy. Instead of horizontally oriented terminals, the terminal leads 30 are vertically oriented. The vertically oriented terminal leads 30 have relatively large surface area faces 32 adjacent one another. The vertically oriented terminal leads 30 may be spaced close together or far apart, as dictated by the mechanical and performance requirements. Typically, for a high switch frequency, high power level application, the spacing between vertically oriented terminal leads is between 6.35 millimeters and 152.4 millimeters (0.25 inch and 6 inches). High current capacity windings 34, implemented as metal stampings, etchings or printed wiring boards, contain a notch 36 or groove to accept the vertically oriented terminal leads 30. Alternatively, a notch may be formed in the vertically oriented terminal leads 30 to accept an edge of the high current capacity windings. The vertically oriented terminal leads 30 may be soldered, brazed, pressed, or otherwise electrically connected to the planar transformer windings. The notch 36 or groove contained in the windings may be a simple rectangular geometry, or a more complex geometry, such as a slotted retention feature 38 as shown in Figure 5 to provide improved retention of the vertically oriented terminal leads 30.

[0021] This terminal arrangement has multiple beneficial qualities. Proximity effects still have an influence on current distribution within the terminals, but now the flat surface area faces 32 of the terminal leads 30 and mating bus bars 40 are facing each other as shown in Figures 6 and 7, allowing a higher fraction of the bus bar 40 cross sectional area to be utilized to carry current. Since the terminal leads 30 fit into a slot defined by notches 36, the transformer windings 34 are allowed to move vertically during assembly, providing allowance for manufacturing variability. With the terminal connections centered on the stack of paralleled transformer windings 34, the AC impedance is balanced, facilitating even current flow between windings. The same terminals may be used in multiple different designs, allowing modularity of design and a common building block approach.

EXAMPLE

[0022] Using a 3D finite element method (FEM) electromagnetic simulator, the terminal leads 30 disclosed herein were compared with prior art terminal leads in an exemplary design. The exemplary design was a 7kW rated planar transformer used in a switch mode power converter that produces 250A of 28VDC power. A switch frequency of 115kHz was assumed. Figure 8 shows the 3D model of the planar transformer implemented using the prior art terminal leads 40. Figure 9 shows the 3D model of a planar transformer of the same construction using the herein disclosed vertical terminal 30. In each case, bus bars 24 were added to the planar transformer electromagnetic model that carried the output power 38.1 millimeters (1.5 inches) beyond the terminals, which is a typical distance required for connection to rectifiers rated for 250A of current.

[0023] Simulations of each planar transformer configuration were performed. The proximity effect along surface area face 26 of terminal lead 40 (Figure 8) is much more pronounced than the proximity effect along the surface area face 26’ of terminal lead 30 (Fig. 9). The results of the simulation are summarized in Table 1. The vertical terminal leads reduce the total losses by 55% over the prior art leads. In addition to higher termination loss, the prior art creates slightly more loss in the transformer windings due to increased current density within the transformer windings near the terminals. It should be noted that the termination loss of the prior art is higher than the winding conduction loss, which is not unusual for planar transformers operating with high current and frequency. Figure 8 and Figure 9 show the terminal and bus bar current densities of the prior art and the proposed solution, respectively. Because of proximity effects, the prior art design contains extremely high current density on the surfaces of the terminals and bus bars closest to each other. Current is much more evenly distributed within the terminals and bus bars of the proposed solution, leading to lower termination loss.

Table 1